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Nearly 58,000 Misdemeanor Cannabis Convictions Expunged Under Minnesota's Marijuana Legalization Law

Minnesota expunged nearly 58,000 misdemeanor cannabis records, clearing paths for better jobs and housing.

Plans to provide local criminal justice agencies with a list of the expunged records to further remove any related records

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) announced Monday that it completed the expungement of 57,780 records for cannabis convictions as stipulated by the state’s recreational marijuana law. Nearly one year ago, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed the legalization bill into law into law.

"We are pleased to be able to deliver on this legislative priority," BCA superintendent Drew Evans said in a prepared statement. "Minnesotans will see changes to their records immediately and as additional expungements are made in the months and years ahead."

Impact On Lives

The automatic process has rendered these records inaccessible to the public via the Minnesota Criminal History System. The clearing of these records will significantly enhance the ability of affected individuals to secure better employment and housing opportunities. 

With these records sealed on the state's Criminal History System (CHS), officials will now compile lists of expunged cases and distribute them to local law enforcement agencies so they can be removed from their individual systems as well.

Following this action, the BCA plans to provide local criminal justice agencies with a list of the expunged records to ensure the removal of any related records in subsequent systems.

What About Felony Cannabis Crimes?

Minnesota’s approach to more serious cannabis-related offenses involves the newly formed Cannabis Expungement Board, which will handle felony cases. The board, which includes five voting members, will not consider cases involving violence, weapons, or threats, focusing instead on other felony cases that may qualify for expungement.

 “The Cannabis Expungement Board is tasked with the thoughtful and careful review of cannabis-related felonies and we are quickly moving forward to build a team to accomplish the work,” said Jim Rowader, executive director of the Expungement Board.

This board will begin deliberations with its first meeting scheduled soon, setting the stage for ongoing reviews. Given the one-by-one nature of the assessment, these revisions could take years.



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